May 1, 2018
Vickie Shields
Director of Libraries is off to Harvard!
Nathaniel King, Director of the Marydean Martin Library, has been selected to participate in this year’s Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians. This year’s Institute will be held from July 30th to August 3rd and will bring together academic library leaders from around the world. The program focuses on three areas of leadership: planning, organizational strategy and change, and transformational learning, with an overarching goal of increasing leadership and management capacity. “I am delighted to have been selected for this program. This is an exciting time for academic libraries,” said King. “We occupy the center of a dynamically changing information landscape. This landscape requires us to think and act strategically, closely align the libraries’ priorities with a diverse range of stakeholders, and make bold decisions. The Institute will provide an invaluable opportunity to expand my skills in these areas and further the mission of Nevada State College."
The Strategic Planning Journey Has Begun
This is such an exciting time in Nevada State’s history! It’s so easy to dream up all kinds of wonderful things we want to build and accomplish. However, as we grow we must plan strategically in order to know how to best prioritize our efforts and resources as they align with our mission, vision, and values. Preliminary work on the next strategic plan has begun. In April, Jeff Stafford of Stafford Associates visited with campus leadership at many levels to lay the foundation for embarking fully on the 2020-2025 strategic plan. Jeff led some limited workshops with campus leaders in order to familiarize us with a model for identifying major initiatives and projects as well as the basics of project management. Over the summer, Jeff will hold additional meetings with administrators and faculty leaders to prepare us to have full faculty and community involvement in the process this fall. A preview of the fall planning process will be presented and discussed at fall Convocation in August. I am very excited to have everyone’s involvement in this vital process. This is our opportunity to plan our growth while being very intentional about protecting our mission, core values, and special culture.
Tony Scinta
The Way Forward
As you probably know, either from the announcement or the sounds of lamentation coming from the Provost’s suite, Dean of Students Rich Yao is headed to Channel Islands for a new and exciting opportunity. After sobbing like Ben Stiller at the end of There’s Something about Mary, I rallied the team to figure out how we will manage the transition between his departure and the arrival of a new Dean of Students. Based on fit and prior experience, here is where each key area will report:
  • Advising (Alex Kunkle)
  • Student Clubs & Organizations/NSSA (Phil LaMotte)
  • Disability Resource Center (Sandi Patton)
  • Student CARE Team (Laura Carroll)
  • Academic Success Center (Cristina Caputo)
We may need to de-prioritize some initiatives (e.g., re-examining 60+ advising) to ensure that we can keep the most critical functions operating at a high capacity while we are shorthanded, but I have every confidence that this team can pull it off. Rich’s team is great – the best I have seen at these positions – and Gwen and Gregory have weathered their share of challenging circumstances. We will need it, of course – each area is involved with efforts to expand their services or implement an entirely new initiative – but I know we will rally around each other as we turn the page to the next (undoubtedly exciting) chapter in NSC’s story.
Gwen Sharp
Grant Updates
  • Jennifer Edmonds (LAS) submitted a grant proposal to the EPA; if approved, it would fund workshops and demonstrations to help CCSD teachers learn about and manage composting systems.

Future Faculty Development Opportunity
The next annual Conference on the First-Year Experience will be held in Vegas February 16-19, 2019. I attended their 2017 conference and it was great. I'll send more information as the date approaches; this might be a good opportunity for some of you to attend or even to submit proposals for presentations.

Publications, Honors, & Awards
  • Amber Howerton (LAS) co-authored a manuscript, "Insights into Transcriptional Silencing and Anti-Silencing in Shigella flexneri," that was recently accepted for publication in Molecular Microbiology. She and a colleague at UNLV also received a second patent on anti-germination therapy for Clostridium difficile.
  • Heather Lang (LAS) was selected to serve as the World Literature Editor for The Literary Review. Her essay titled "Chaos and Courage: Poems of Kim Yideum, Kim Haengsook, & Kim Min Jeong," was published in Korean Literature Now.
  • Pupa, a book of poetry by Samuel Piccone (LAS), was the Editor's Choice in the 2017 Rick Campbell Chapbook Prize with Anhinga Press.
  • Angela Brommel (Director of Arts & Culture Initiatives) was selected as a Red Rock Canyon Artist in Residence. She will offer workshops at Red Rock this month.

Another Successful Undergraduate Research and Creative Works Conference
The 3rd URCW Conference was a success, thanks to the hard work of faculty and staff from across campus. We had a record number of student participants, and I was very impressed by the quality of their projects. A big thank you to the NSC faculty mentors who sponsored student research and creative work that was presented at the conference: Kayla Bieser, Amber Howerton, Jennifer Edmonds, Kebret Kebede, Bryan Sigel, Heidi Batiste, Zach Woydziak, Laura Rosales-Lagarde, Wendi Benson, Laura Naumann, Christina Squires, Ipuna Black, Andra Scano, Leila Pazargadi, Joanna Shearer, Shirli Brautbar, Laura Decker, Adam Davis, Joel Franco, and Jo Meuris.

I am extremely appreciative of the URCWC Planning Committee for all their hard work turning the conference into a successful event. Aster Sigel, Laura Naumann, Laura Rosales-Lagarde, Christine Beaudry, Leila Pazargadi, and Adam Davis were particularly involved in the behind-the-scenes organizational planning that is required to pull off an event of this size. And thank you to everyone who volunteered to help with event set-up, day-of registration, judging of student work, and other tasks; we couldn't have done it without you.
Gregory Robinson
Common Read Updates
There is still time to request a Common-Read Mini-Grant. Send me an email this week and let me know how you’d like to use The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in your class. If your request is approved, the Office of the Provost will purchase texts for all your students.

Also, take a look at this AMAZING collection of chapter summaries that Darlene Haff created, which allows faculty to see what content specifically applies to their courses. Thank you for your work on this, Darlene! I’d also like to thank the other members of the Common Read Committee: Dawn Butler, Leilani Carreño, Susan Growe, Amber Howerton, Myra Infante-Sheridan, Vanessa Mari, Francesca Marineo, Leila Pazargadi, and Nathan Silva.

Learning Environment Modeling
I still have a few spots left for the Learning Environment Modeling sessions scheduled for May 14th and May 15th. If you are interested in an innovative method of course design, send me an email this week.

Other News
  • 125 students attended the Writing Center’s Long Night Against Procrastination.
  • Our English Honors candidates will present their final papers in RSC 303 on Wednesday, May 2nd at 2pm.
  • As of the end of April, the Course Assistants worked with nearly 300 unique students and had 2,527 total interactions.
  • The Nepantla Program is now offering specialized tracks for its summer students.
  • The TRiO-SSS program reported a persistence rate of 99.3% this year, well above the minimum of 67% required. 
Rich Yao
Student Life Strategic Plan
Our Student Life Task Force is working diligently to move our 5-year student life strategic plan forward. Our committee chairs and their teams submitted whitepapers, which included a literature review focusing on theoretical foundations and best practices, program ideas, and staff, budget, and space recommendations. I’d like to thank our chairs and their teams for all of their work in this process. This has truly been a collaborative effort, and our task force is comprised of academic faculty from LAS, SoN, and SoE, administrative faculty and staff, and students. 
Our steering committee, consisting of Phil LaMotte, Amber Lassiter-Lopez, and myself, is utilizing the whitepapers to inform the first draft of the student life strategic plan. We are in the process of prioritizing initiatives, developing a proposed organizational chart, and a year-by-year plan for each area. We truly believe that our task force has developed the foundation for an aspirational, but also very logistically feasible and comprehensive student life program here at NSC. We look forward to soliciting feedback from the campus community throughout the summer and fall to finalize the plan. 
Sandip Thanki
In fall 2017, we had our largest incoming class of first-time, full-time students. How is the re-enrollment of these students into fall 2018 so far? The answer is: better than ever. The following chart shows our incoming cohorts of first-time, full-time students for the past seven years, their re-enrollment into the next fall as of April 30th (dotted orange line), and the final 1-year retention (solid orange line). The highest re-enrollment is for the fall 2017 cohort. This remarkable result is no coincidence. Each year, our advising office starts outreach sooner than the previous year. Even with this proactive approach, our final retention has not moved up as substantially as the early retention. We might be reaching an upper limit on our 1-year retention as dictated by the percent of students on good academic standing (green line). Since academic support (e.g. tutoring) is linked to better academic standing (95% of the fall 2017 first-time, full-time tutoring participants were on good academic standing and 90% have already re-enrolled), increased participation in these services may help break the 1-year retention ceiling of 72%, if tutoring impacts academic standing for the remaining students.
Staffing Changes
New Hires
Johanna Araujo joined us as the Nepantla Program Coordinator; Irene Cepeda is the new HSI Grant Program Coordinator; and Leslie Salazar accepted a position as the RN-to-BSN Coordinator in the School of Nursing.

As we mentioned previously, Elizabeth Brandise left the advising staff to move to Reno, and James Campos accepted a federal office and is moving to D.C. Renee Clebanoff is no longer with the Financial Aid Office, and Marquis Lee is no longer working in the Registrar's Office.
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